February 2, 2012 - Herzliya, Israel - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird participated yesterday in a Foreign Ministers panel at the Herzliya Conference in Israel. The panel discussion focused on the importance of engaging the West in issues related to the Middle East.
"These changes in the region provide an opportunity, along with the obvious challenges, for the West and Israel to reconsider how we approach long-standing regional concerns,” said Baird. “I would characterize these changes as a clear focus on the need for jobs, a struggle for more open, free and accountable governments, and a shifting power balance globally.
"Unfortunately, instability remains even as there are areas of positive movement. At the same time, we cannot discount the continuing existential threats Israel faces."